(WVVA)- "It just really hurts you to your soul. That somebody has made the ultimate sacrifice to do their job," Joe Parks, Chief Deputy Capt. with the Mercer County Sheriff's Department said.
Those are the words, local law enforcement officers share about the shooting that leaves Charleston Patrolman Officer, Cassie Johnson on life support with little chance of recovery. The idea this man allegedly opened fire on a police officer over a parking complaint is a sobering reminder to police of the danger they all face everyday, not knowing when they'll face a life and death situation.
"This kind of brings a harsh reminder to officers everywhere that you never know what's going to happen. You don't know something that may sound simple that turns out and takes a life of a police officer. It's a harsh reminder everywhere that the most simple calls that you think you're going on could turn around and become deadly," Sheriff Brian Hieatt with the Tazewell County Sheriff's Office said.
"Be mindful in any situation. No matter how little it may seem because at any giving time something small could be your last call," Officer J.E. Mullins of the Bluefield, West Virginia Police Department said.
Officer Johnson found herself confronting who was no stranger to police, although the call seemed routine.
"The tragedy with that is this man had an extensive criminal record, and he wasn't in prison. I think that is underlining tragedy for the entire department up there dealing with that and it also kind of hurts society," Parks said.
Though Johnson will likely lose her life, even in death, she is still giving back. Officer Johnson is an organ donor. One officer says you don't have to be in law enforcement to appreciate the example that sets.
"Anyone that can donate their organs and can that's good because that's giving hope to a life for someone else in need. So that's always a great thing," Mullins said.
"It does hurt when you hear somebody as close to Charleston that has happened. It hurts law enforcement everywhere and this is a reminder to officers also when you're headed out to work and put that badge on to tell everyone, your family that you love them, because you never know what may happen and if you're going to get back at the end of that shift," Hieatt said.